Julia, from Newport, Shropshire, contacted the forum regarding new claims that despite homeowners dutifully recycling their waste for their colour-coded dustbins some councils are simply dumping it all in landfill.
CWF investigated and this is what we found:
It would appear that not many councils actually ignore your recycling endeavors but a recent Freedom of Information request by the BBC revealed that at least 340,000 tonnes of recyclable rubbish was either incinerated or buried in landfills across the country because it had become contaminated.
And councils are rejecting more and more waste, so much so that there has been an 80 percent increase in the past four years in the amount of contaminated rubbish not making it to recycling.
Kirklees in West Yorkshire for instance, Greenwich, South-East London, and Blackburn, Lancashire, have admitted that they refused to recycle almost 15 per cent of recyclable waste in 2014-15.
There is also a sense amongst homeowners that we are all being used as unpaid detritus sorters while the councils can actually raise money for the public coffers by selling our efforts on … for instance a tonne of old plastic bottles sells for between £300 and £400.
However, all is not lost – 11 million tonnes of rubbish across the country was recycled last year, according to the Government’s official figures.
Meanwhile, taxpayers have been left furious after a council spent £100,000 hiring ‘bin police’ to search through residents’ rubbish and make sure they are recycling properly.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has employed a team of ‘waste minimisation’ staff. The six-strong ‘bin police’ team will issue residents with a guide on what they can place in their grey, brown and blue containers. If the new members of staff find anyone caught breaching the rules, they will give them a yellow ‘warning notice’, meaning their waste may not be collected.
But residents have blasted the move as ‘over the top’ and an ‘invasion of privacy’.
Jim Gibson, chairman of Chell Heath Residents’ Association, said: “Look at all the care homes and libraries they’ve shut, couldn’t the £100,000 be spent on keeping them open?
‘There could be fireworks if people spot men poking around their bins. ‘I’m all for recycling but part of the problem is it’s not clear what the rules are. The guidelines can be confusing.”
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